MobiFlex, With Rebranding, Tries to Change How Businesses Make Mobile Apps (No Coding)

8/16/11Follow @gthuang

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for instance. But its system can handle things like restaurants giving out coupons to customers nearby (using GPS on their phones); or an insurance company making an app so a driver can take pictures of a car and include them in his or her claims; or a research organization tracking migratory patterns of animals on a map, Adams says.

The five-person startup has received a little over $200,000 in seed funding from angel investors and an unnamed corporate partner. Adams hinted at a new series of releases and customer announcements coming this fall, but he didn’t give specifics.

Mobile apps for business is certainly a burgeoning sector filled with companies that have all kinds of complementary approaches, such as Apperian, AppCentral, Mellmo (Roambi), Raizlabs, Kinvey, and Enterprise Mobile, just to name a few. But why is this trend happening now?

Adams gave some perspective on the evolution of the latest types of apps. “The first wave of apps came to market over the last couple of years,” he says. “You have [400,000-plus] apps in the [Apple] app store, thousands more coming out per week on Android. But how many apps are people really using? Most of those are one-offs or not really getting used. There’s a place for the consumer app. But the quality and maturity and stability and real focus on value-add is coming to a second wave in the form of business apps.”

“Small businesses are doing e-mail marketing, they have websites and social marketing, but what a mobile app gives them is a tangible touch point with their customer or employees that’s in the hand, expedient, available 24-7, and interactive,” Adams says.

In the end it’s all about connecting with (or selling stuff to) more people, more directly, and at lower cost. We’ll be watching to see how well this startup can help its customers do just that.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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